Columbus Neighborhood Health Centers, Inc.
The Columbus Neighborhood Health Centers, Inc (CNHC) is an organizational affiliate of the Primary Care Research Institute (PCRI). CNHC is a not-for-profit organization comprising five federally qualified health centers (FQHC) situated in the inner city of Columbus, Ohio.* Its mission is to provide access to services and improve the health status of the Columbus community neighborhoods, particularly for individuals experiencing financial or cultural barriers to health care, and to remain responsive to the unique needs of various underserved populations. The CNHC is federally (15%), State (8%), and City (44%) funded. The remainder of the CNHC funding comes from grants, contracts, and patient revenue. Key provider medical staff services are from Internal Medicine, Family Practice, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics and Advance Practice Nursing disciplines. The CNHC health care services are comprehensive (e.g., chronic disease management, physicals, immunizations, prenatal care, gynecological care, pediatric services, dental care, vision care, podiatry, prescription services, laboratory services, health education, nutritional counseling, outreach services, social work services, interpreter services, transportation ancillary services support, mental health service linkages, substance abuse service linkages). Additionally, each of the practices in CNHC uses a common charting system, laboratory, prescription service, computer system, and annual audit processes.
Nearly a quarter of Franklin County’s population lives in the areas served by the CNHC. About 42 percent of their patients are uninsured and about 26 percent are on Medicaid. The five neighborhood centers see a total of approximately 24,000 (check #) individual patients a year from the Columbus inner city and provide a total of 365,000 (check #) patient encounters/services. The median age of patients is 34.2; 23% are under 18 years of age, and 15% are over 55 years of age; 63% are women; 53% are black, non-Hispanic. Forty percent of the service area is African-American, while a significant portion of the White population is Appalachian originating from rural West Virginia and Kentucky. Recently there has also been an influx of Spanish-speaking families plus many persons and families from Somalia into the Columbus area. Cultural and language barriers have made access to care difficult. Franklin County’s homeless population, the majority of which is served by CNHC, has been increasing over the past six years. This is due largely to federal programs that have been eliminated, thus making it more difficult for some individuals to access drug treatment and other health care services.
CNHC provides quality, comprehensive health care services regardless of patient’s ability to pay (e.g., a sliding fee scale based on income and family size is used). It accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and many private health-care insurances. In summary, CNHC creates healthy communities by improving healthcare access, increasing continuity of healthcare and by reducing the incidence of preventable diseases.